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POLLUTION OF KAHAYAN RIVER

Kahayan is one of the largest river in Central Kalimantan province. The Kahayan
river has a length of 250 kilometers with the position of splitting the province of Central
Kalimantan. The river is an integral part of the civilization that lived in the surrounding
communities since become the center of life for resident such as bathing, washing, daily
consumption, as well as a source of livehood and major transportation routes to coastal
communities.

Based on the data from Central Kalimantan Bappelda, conditions of Kahayan river
have been polluted has experienced mainly by chemical pollution and sedimentation of
mercury in the river downstream. The content of mercury had reached 0,14 and has
exceeded the safe threshold 0,01. In addition, physically as well have been changes in the
water of this river, directly we can see a fairly high level of turbidity. This condition is
caused by the rise of the action of gold and zircon sand mining without a permit, located
in the upper Kahayan, and illegal logging activities that occurred in the watershed
Kahayan causing erotion rate is high. The pollution from the people around the river flow
who dispose of household waste directly into the river.

Just as clean air is an essential requirement so also pure, clean water is essential for
a good, healthy life. All living organisms should get pure water for a healthy life. When
drinking water from certain sources get mixed and contaminated with dirty and polluted
water, it becomes infested with diseases causing bacteria, fungi and several other diseases
causing organisms. Hence this causes an epidemic of diseases like cholera, dysentery,
typhoid, jaundice and skin diseases. For fetuses, infants, and children, the primary health
effect of methylmercury is impaired neurological development. Methylmercury exposure
in the womb, which can result from a mother's consumption of fish that contain
methylmercury, can adversely affect a baby's growing brain and nervous system. Impacts
on cognitive thinking, memory, attention, language, and fine motor and visual spatial
skills have been seen in children exposed to methylmercury in the womb. Outbreaks of
methylmercury poisonings have made it clear that adults, children, and developing
fetuses are at risk from ingestion exposure to methylmercury. During these poisoning
outbreaks some mothers with no symptoms of nervous system damage gave birth to
infants with severe disabilities, it became clear that the developing nervous system of the
fetus may be more vulnerable to methylmercury than is the adult nervous system. The
risks from methlymercury in fish depend on the amount of fish eaten and the levels of
methylmercury in the fish. The content of heavy metals in Kahayan river have the effect
to the fishes such as inhibition of respiratory function circulation and excretion from the
gills. Methylmercury is the most common form of organic mercury found in the
environment. Environmental methylmercury arises from the methylation of inorganic
mercury by microorganisms in soil and sediments, in air or under water.
Polluted river is of course very influential for the people living on the edge of the
river and use river water for daily living needs. The other effect, the decline in natural

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beauty Kahayan as a result of sufficient levels of turbidity high. Because if this river is
well maintained and has a unique pattern of natural life, it will become its own potential
in the development of cultural arts and tourism in Central Kalimantan. Although the
nature of resource but it is potentially a source of local revenue.

There is no easy way to solve water pollution; if there were, it wouldn't be so much
of a problem. Broadly speaking, there are three different things that can help to tackle the
problem—education, laws, and economics—and they work together as a team.
1. Education
Making people aware of the problem is the first step to solving it.
2. Laws
One of the biggest problems with water pollution is its transboundary nature.
Many rivers cross countries, while seas span whole continents. Pollution
discharged by factories in one country with poor environmental standards can
cause problems in neighbouring nations, even when they have tougher laws and
higher standards. Environmental laws can make it tougher for people to pollute,
but to be really effective they have to operate across national and international
borders for example rehabilitating the open forest area along the basin Kahayan,
curb the activites of gold mining and zircon sand without permit, and to improve
the dissemination to the public about the activities of the utilization of natural
resources is environmentally friendly.
3. Economics
Most environmental experts agree that the best way to tackle pollution is through
something called the polluter pays principle. This means that whoever causes
pollution should have to pay to clean it up, one way or another. Polluter pays can
operate in all kinds of ways.